Fine Gael General Election candidate, Noel Rock, today welcomed the latest official employment figures from the Central Statistics Office, which show that 135,800 extra jobs have been created since the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs was launched at the beginning of 2012.
This latest report also shows:

• The unemployment rate has hit 8.9%, the lowest rate since the end of 2008, and down from a high of 15.1% in February 2012 

• The total number of people unemployed has moved below 200,000 for the first time since the end of 2008 

• 56,000 extra jobs were created in the past 12 months

• The number of people in part-time employment fell in the past 12 months, meaning that the numbers in full-time employment actually increased by 59,400

• Employment grew in 12 out of 14 economic sectors, with largest increases in construction and industry

• The number of people long-term unemployed has declined from 204,300 at the beginning of 2012, to 109,800 today, representing a decrease of 46%

“Since the Government was formed in 2011, the single biggest focus has been on job creation,” Councillor Rock stated. “The Government set a target to reduce the unemployment rate to under 9% by the end of 2015 and I am pleased that that target has been reached one month ahead of schedule.

“It is also good news that the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 6.4% to 5% in the past year, but I still want to see that figure reduced further. It’s imperative that those who have been out of work for over a year receive support to upskill, so they can return to the workforce with confidence and optimism.

“We are not fully where we intend to be just yet, but we are moving in the right direction and today’s report proves that the Government’s policies are working and will continue to bear fruit.”